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Four Questions to Help You Select a New Financial Institution

Chris Gottschalk

Chris Gottschalk About The Author

Oct 14, 2021 3:15:00 AM

When you decide to switch financial institutions, it’s usually because your current financial institution isn’t meeting your needs anymore. That’s a good reason to switch, but it does raise an important question—what financial institution should you switch to to better meet your needs?

There’s no one right answer to this question. Every person has different financial needs, and some financial institutions will serve your particular needs better than others. However, you can learn how to select a new bank or credit union that’s right for you simply by answering a few questions.

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What Kind of Accounts do you Need?

When searching for a new financial institution, the biggest question to answer is what you need the institution to do. At the bare minimum, you’ll want the bank or credit union you choose to be a place where you can direct deposit your paycheck and pay your bills, but you should also think about what financial goals you want to accomplish. For instance, you might want a high-yield savings account for your emergency fund, a loan for a new automobile or even get a personal line of credit to help with an upcoming wedding or summer vacation.

Once you have a good idea of the accounts you’ll need, you can start looking at financial institutions and determining whether or not they’re a good fit for you.

What are the Fees and Rates?

Wooden Blocks with the text FeesOnce you know what kind of accounts you need, it’s time to start looking at the rates and fees of financial institutions in your area.

In general, you’ll want to look for financial institutions that charge the lowest fees. You should also keep an eye out for unnecessary fees, including monthly fees (also called maintenance fees), ATM fees and steep overdraft fees.

You’ll also want to look at the interest rates financial unions offer for your savings accounts and for loans. High interest rates on savings accounts are preferable, but when it comes to loans you’ll want the lowest interest rate possible.

What Kind of Technology do They Have?

Digital services are becoming more and more important. They not only make banking more convenient, they also make it more secure.

Happy woman sitting behind laptop screen

Any bank or credit union should at least have a good online banking platform and electronic bill pay service. You may also want to find out if they have a mobile app, and if so whether it offers any additional benefits like digital check deposit or credit and debit card security.

Where are the Branches?

Finally, you’ll want to look at where the branches of a financial institution are located. While most people do their banking online, you’ll want to have a branch nearby if you need to deposit some cash, apply for a loan or talk with a member advisor about any problems you are having with your account.

Get the Financial Services you Need at First Alliance Credit Union

When you decide to switch financial institutions, you have an abundance of banks and credit unions you can switch to. While every financial institution is a little different, you can find the one that works best for you by answering a few simple questions.

While you’re searching for a new financial institution, take a look at all the benefits First Alliance Credit Union has to offer if you become a member today. In addition to low fees and a wide variety of accounts, we also have a robust online banking platform and mobile app, as well as conveniently located branches, with our cutting-edge advisor supported kiosks that will let you do your banking on your schedule.

Want more information? Listen to episode 29 of our Good Money Moves podcast, which covers switching bank accounts.
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We do our best to provide helpful information but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article, under no circumstance does the information provided constitute legal advice. You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to use it in any way. Additionally, the content is not intended to be reflective of First Alliance Credit Union’s products or services, for accurate and complete details about our product and service information you must speak to an advisor at First Alliance Credit Union.